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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Mother, Daughter, Lawyer, Cry

    | Sweden | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (I’ve been told I am extremely scary looking, but I am very kind, especially towards children. My girlfriend has a habit of teasing me for looking so scary. A small child enters the store with her mother. I notice the girl holding a teddy bear and don’t comment on it. My girlfriend is the cashier.)

    Mother: “Excuse me!”

    Me: “Yeah? Can I help you?”

    Mother: “How dare you!”

    Me: “… Pardon?”

    Mother: “How dare you treat me like a lesser being?!”

    Me: “I literally said ‘can I help you.’ I work here. It’s my JOB to, y’know, help people.”

    (The mother huffs and hurries off, leaving the girl behind, who was looking at some toys. She panics once she sees her mother is gone.)

    Girl: “Mommy? Where are you?”

    Me: “Aw, h***. Yo, kitten!”

    Girlfriend: “Yeah?”

    Me: “Can you get [Coworker]? Dude should be in the back. Tell him to find the kid’s mother.”

    (I explain how the mother looked. She nods and hurries off. The coworker quickly walks past us with a calm smile. He’s one of my best friends and the only time he snaps is when people are being idiots.)

    Me: “Hey, kid. You want a cookie or something?”

    Girl: “Mommy says I shouldn’t take things from strangers.”

    Me: “Fair point. Come on. Let’s look around, shall we?”

    (I show my hand with a calm smile. She carefully grabs it. I now notice she dropped her teddy bear.)

    Me: “Hey… Where’s your teddy?”

    Girl: “Huh? Oh, no!”

    (She looks panicked. I quickly find it and hand it back to her with a calm smile. She quickly hugs it.)

    Girl: “You’re scary… but nice.”

    Me: “Yeah, so I hear…”

    (The coworker from earlier now comes along with the mother, who is screaming
    loudly.)

    Mother: “How dare you assault my child! You sick f***! I’ll have your a** sued!”

    Me: “For what? For leaving your daughter behind?”

    Mother: “I’ll have your a** sued! I’m a lawyer!”

    Girl: “Mom, you’re a waitress…”

    Prices To Put You In The Black

    | Denver, CO, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink, Money

    (I am working as a barista in the coffee kiosk in the mall. We periodically get people complaining that our prices are higher than in the regular stores. Also, there is an extremely large sign posted on the register stating that we can’t take any bills larger than $20.)

    Me: “Okay, sir, your total is $3.36.”

    Customer: *grumbles* “Your drinks are so expensive!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We’re a franchise run through another company so our prices do average a few cents higher.”

    Customer: *still grumbling, pulls out an $100 bill and shoves it at me*

    Me: “Sir, I’m afraid we can’t take any bills larger than $20. Do you have another denomination or a card?”

    Customer: *opens wallet, pulls out a black American Express card, and hands it over grumpily while I try not to stare*

    Customer: “YOUR DRINKS ARE SO EXPENSIVE!”

    Fingers Crossed They Were Joking

    | Princeton, NJ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Criminal/Illegal, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a supervisor at the store. Most shifts only have one cashier up front. I walk up to the front of the store during a closing shift.)

    Cashier: “So the customer I just finished ringing up wanted to know how many fingers I have.”

    Me: “… Sorry. What?”

    Cashier: “Yeah. That’s what I thought, too, so I asked him what he said and he asked ‘how many fingers do you have?’”

    Me: “What did you say?”

    Cashier: “I asked him why he wanted to know. He told me he needed to know how many I had before he cut them off.”

    Me: “…”

    Cashier: “I’m kind of hoping I heard him wrong. But I don’t think I want to go outside by myself after we close.”

    Me: “Yeah. We’ll leave the store together tonight, and I’ll make sure your ride’s out there before we do.”

    Cashier: “Thanks! To be honest, I’m feeling really creeped out right now!”

    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 8

    | Helsinki, Finland | At The Checkout, Technology, Theme Of The Month, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m a customer at a popular independent games store in Helsinki. The store is very busy at the moment. I’m third in line when a customer storms in and rushes to the counter.)

    Customer: “Hey! I want my money back!”

    (The cashier completely ignores him, and keeps serving the customer whose actual turn it is.)

    Customer: “Hey! Nerd! I’m talking to you!”

    (The cashier still ignores him and serves the next customer.)

    Customer: “F****** nerd! Listen to me!”

    (When I am next in line the customer tries to grab the cashier’s hand. He manages to avoid this. The cashier looks at me as if asking for permission to deal with the angry customer. I nod and the cashier finally talks to the angry customer.)

    Cashier: “There is no way that you are going to get any help from me before I finish serving all these other customers who are politely waiting in line.”

    Customer: “F*** that! I have a complaint and I want my money back! Serve me now or you’re going to get your a** kicked!”

    (The customer is a big man and the cashier is quite small and skinny. Luckily, at 6’6″ I am even bigger, and having played hockey all my life I’m quite fit as well.)

    Me: “No, he is not going to get his a** kicked.”

    (The customer turns to me to yell something, but as he sees me he goes quiet. He turns to back to the cashier and continues his rant in a much calmer but still angry and derogatory tone.)

    Customer: “Listen, you little s***. I want my money back from this game.”

    (He waves a copy of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’.)

    Cashier: “I absolutely refuse to serve you before all these other customers, who are being patient and polite. You will get service from me after everyone who acts nicer than you has been helped first.”

    Customer: “Get me your manager! Now!”

    Cashier: “I am the owner. Now you go to the back of the line.”

    (The customer starts to say something, but I push past him in a not very gentle way. He goes to the back of the line muttering. I buy my game but decide to stay in the store until the angry customer leaves. When it’s finally his turn he slams the game on the counter.)

    Customer: “Money back!”

    (The cashier opens the case and looks at the game.)

    Cashier: “Looks perfect to me. Why do you want your money back?”

    Customer: “The game is totally inappropriate for my son! No one told me it was so violent when I bought it!”

    Cashier: “I clearly remember you buying it. You had your son with you, who looked to be about 10 years old. I told you it has sex, killing, torture, crime, and drugs in it. I advised you several times not to buy it. You even told me it was for you, not your son. My guess is that the boy’s mother threw a fit after seeing the game and now you are taking it out on me. You will not get your money back. Ever. And you are not welcome in my store anymore.”

    Customer: “Look here, you little—”

    (I have walked to stand behind the customer. I cough and he turns to me and goes pale. He leaves without saying a word.)

    Cashier: “Thanks, man!”

    Me: “No problem, I love the way you handled him. Maybe a little provocative but he deserved every minute of it.”

    Cashier: “He was a complete a**hole when he bought the game, and the minute I saw him today I guessed what his issue was. Customers like that are the reason I started my own store. I hate to see bullies get special treatment for acting threatening and being difficult, while all the nice customers wait. I try to be as slow and difficult as possible to customers like him. Honestly, their business is not worth it.”

    (The store is still thriving. I guess there are still enough nice customers out there!)

    Related:
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 7
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 6
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 5
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 4
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 3
    Grand Theft Innocence, Part 2
    Grand Theft Innocence

    Double Blush

    | AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    (I’m working near the fitting rooms in a department store one afternoon when an older lady approaches me.)

    Older Lady: “Hello, dear!”

    Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you with today?”

    Older Lady: “I was just wondering, dear: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

    Me: “Oh! Yes, I do.”

    Older Lady: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush.”

    Me: “Aww, thank you!”

    (With a smile on her face, the older lady leaves. I wish her a nice day as she goes. Just a few seconds later, a completely different older lady appears out from between the clothes racks. She looks rather excited.)

    Older Lady #2: “Oh, hello there, sweetie! I was just wondering: do you have naturally rosy cheeks?”

    Me: “Um… Yes? Yes, I do.”

    Older Lady #2: “Oh, you’re so lucky! That means you don’t have to wear blush!”

    Me: “…”


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